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Fasano threatens emergency meeting of board over condo insurance charges

Rep. Mike Fasano is threatening legislative action if the director of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund doesn't back down from a ruling that Fasano says could cost condomium owners throughout the state thousands of dollars in rate hikes.

Fasano is challenging an interpretation of a law by Jack Nicholson, executive director of the CAT fund, and on Monday asked Nicholson to bring the issue before the governor and Cabinet or he will ask legislative leaders to let him call a special meeting of the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee, which Fasano chairs.

Nicholson has said that he believes the CAT fund must disqualify from its coverage any condominium buildings in which units are being rented for more than six months of the year. The state-run reinsurer offers lower cost coverage for residential property than is often available on the free market but, Nicholson believes, state law doesn't consider rental units that are rented for more than six months of the year as residential coverage. 

Fasano, R-New Port Richey, disagreed. In a back and forth last week, Fasano challenged Nicholson and Nicholson responded on Friday. Unsatisfied with the answer, Fasano sent another letter Monday threatening more extreme action. Download Fasano June 10

"Dr. Nicholson, with all due respect, you and your staff have overstepped statutory authority,'' Fasano wrote on Monday.

"The rule not only affects the individual unit owner it impacts the master paln, which impacts all units. As chair of JAPSC, I am asking you to bring your mistake to the attention of the SBA [state board of administration, on which the governor and Cabinet sit] and correct accordingly. Your rule interpretation will have dire consequences on condo associations and their residents throughout the state. Florida has alreayd been identified as the top state in the nation for foreclosures. This rule will only contribute to that rate increasing dramatically."

Then he added the threat: "If you do not take immediate action I will ask the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate to authorize an emergency meeting of JAPSC so we can take care of this legislatively."